Approaching the College of Business Administration, it was clear that the sights and sounds of Cal Poly Pomona’s Winter Frag Fest could not be contained into just the lecture halls they were allotted.

Hundreds of people filled the main hall to take part in the festival of games, in which players brought their own gaming consoles to game with other people.

Additionally, the event was well attended by companies looking to hire and the Cal Poly Esports sponsors, like EVGA.

The club has exploded in the last few years, according to Cal Poly Esports President, Adolfo Alarcon, a fourth-year computer information systems and marketing management student.

“We really formed in 2011 as an actual esports club, but we’ve really seen a lot of growth in the last three years,” said Alarcon.

Club members and other students competed in multiple games for prizes and bragging rights. (Julian Mitchell | The Poly Post)

Esports in general has begun to emerge in global popular culture, with many competitions now being aired on cable television.

Attendees were eligible for raffled prized including computer parts, some reaching prices of $500.

The outside was the showcase area for various companies to set up and show off new equipment to hobbyists.

Companies included EVGA, MSI, and Gigabyte, who all typically brought entire gaming computer systems with all the newest bells and whistles to impress the crowds.

One of the attractions outside was the virtual reality booth brought by Aorus, free to try for anyone who came to game.

The booth featured a full immersion into virtual reality, an opportunity that many not have otherwise due to the expenses associated with virtual reality.

Cal Poly Esports only recently started receiving attention from major companies, getting their first sponsorship deals in 2014, according to Alarcon.

“There was no club when I was here. It was just a few of us hanging out in the games room,” said 2004 CPP Alumni and EVGA employee, Eddie Huertas.

The main event of course was the communal gaming going on in the main hall. Most of the 120 or so people there brought desktop computers with them to play their favorite games with others in attendance.

The event was so big that in addition to the main lecture hall, an additional lecture hall was used for the event, in addition to a smaller class room being dedicated to just those playing the popular gaming franchise Super Smash Bros.

Frag Fest also brings a competitive edge to it, providing players a platform to game with their friends in club sponsored tournaments in games such as Overwatch and Rocket League.

Other games such as Playeruknown’s Battle Grounds and League of Legends were popular throughout the event.

Cal Poly Esports also competes in intercollegiate tournaments, in which the winning players receive scholarship money.

The club was also kind enough to provide free pizza and energy drinks to keep gamers going through the cold night and to continue to enjoy the fun.

The Cal Poly Esports club holds meeting monthly, but additionally holds Frag Fests events every quarter.

Be on the look out for next quarter’s Frag Fest, and don’t forget to bring your A-game.

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